Students selected for ocean volcano research

map of Northwest Pacific

Two University of Washington Bothell students have been selected to participate in research this summer aboard a ship exploring the underwater volcano known as the Axial Seamount, located about 300 miles off the Northwest coast. 

Both students are interested in ocean engineering: Spencer Nelson, a junior in mechanical engineering, and Matthew Munson a pre-major interested in mechanical engineering. They’ll work with scientists who remotely operate an underwater vehicle to collect samples to depths of 2,900 meters. 

“This is a very competitive program that accepts only 30 students (undergrad and grad) from all over the United States and two of them are UW Bothell students this year,” said  Shima Abadi, assistant professor of engineering and mathematics. “I’m so happy to see that UW Bothell is becoming known as a campus that is actively involved in ocean engineering education and research.” 

The 10-day exploration is the annual maintenance trip for the Ocean Observatories Initiative Cabled Array. It provides a constant stream of data from the seafloor and the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The ocean observatory initiative is one of the largest projects ever funded by the National Science Foundation.